(Aka Sunday brunch and Bloody Mary)
Around the city of New York, or at least in Manhattan as far as I know, there are billboards everywhere. They advertise events, clothes, alcohol and most of all asses. Yes, asses, asses everywhere. Not that I mind particularly about it, but these are not the only one you see. Some of them are smart and even brilliant sometimes, and except the ones in Times Square (which a real New Yorker doesn’t visit too often) you can even smile looking at them. For example, some days ago I saw some of them advertising the Knicks and the Madison Square Garden.
I already spoke about it but I like NBA so I just paid attention to them while I was in the subway; this is the catch phrase: “The MSG is the house of the Knicks like…” and typical New York stereotypes, some of them really funny. Like “New York is the house of the two hundred square meters apartments” or “The High Line is the house of New Yorkers with friends in town”. I can see myself in most of those, both because I live in a shoebox and I have friends that I plan to take to the High Line when they’ll come.
Among the other catch phrases today I want to discuss one in particular: “MSG is the house of the Knicks as Chelsea is the house of the brunch”. The brunch, a typical New York institution, that American look with envy and European cannot understand properly. The correct definition of brunch is: “a meal halfway between breakfast and lunch” (I lied, I didn’t check for the definition anywhere, this is the only definition I know and I am too lazy to go on Wikipedia).
Well here in New York it’s kind of different, as most of my friends believe the brunch is a meal that can be carried on from two pm to five, which have the role of turning you into sober after the weekend. Which is not wrong at all but here there is a different conception. Here they use this moment of the day to drink as many Bloody Marys and Mimosas (orange juice and sparkling wine) as they can, which technically bring you back to hangover mode.
I went to a place last week, it’s called Veselka Bowery (it’s famous among “brunchers”, it’s at 9 East 1st street). Very nice place, clean, big windows so the sun can come in and take you out from the solitude and the inner darkness that the rum and coke brought into you. And funny and nice waiters, which is one thing that basically make me choose if to come back or not in a place, sometimes more than food. Which was great by the way. I had corned beef on top of a certain kind of whole wheat bread and with poached egg on top, toasted bread aside and a separate dish with bacon. To drink I didn’t feel brave enough to the alcohol so I just took orange juice and coffee. All of this at three pm.
Which could even be considered as a brunch, but basically collide with the idea and the definition usually provided. I regret nothing by the way, I really loved the place and I think I will come back again. I like these places where the atmosphere is relaxed and you don’t have to scream to bartenders to obtain some sort of drink with more ice then ethanol in it. Sometimes I go in places where the waiter doesn’t even look you in the eyes and throw things at you with no love. They are not New Yorkers I guess, all the New Yorkers I met are nice people, starting from my landlord who was born in the Bronx, and he is a cool guy. Maybe a hippy and I hope he is not reading this otherwise he would raise the rent.
Coming back to the brunch stuff I would recommend Veselka for today, it’s my favourite Sunday pick so far and I hope to see you there not this Sunday (my family is visiting the US for the first time, yayyyyy) and I will be too busy carrying them around the High Line, over and over again all day.
(Sometimes you just wanna eat and sleep. And repeat)
(Aka You just got Rickroll’d)
The main variable here that influences a wide range of subjects such as the technological gadget world, the groceries and the work is basically the integration of the human being with the World Wide Web. As I explained before in my posts you can technically do everything on the internet, and I am one of those that except meeting girls and play soccer loves to use internet for anything. Sometimes people do even those two things on the internet, but let’s say it’s not my style.
See in Italy there is no chance to use such a wide range of services, basically because in some areas of Italy we still have the dial up connection, and in other areas we don’t have even that one. And that’s just one of the problems. Most of all we are not mentally used to think about the the internet when we need something, we don’t have big stores and big chains of shops that offer products delivery. Shipping is expensive, you can only buy things on eBay, that is the biggest source of products for the average Italian, that is really, really scared about the idea to insert his credit card number on the internet.
Like in case they clone the card you will be immediately poor and alone, instantly after inserting the verification code. People in Italy buy just one, simple prepaid card from the same selle, the Poste (which is basically the US Postal Service here) because the voice of a simple, free and easy credit card spread among all Italy. Think about a country all with the same card. Why? Because they are afraid of everything, you always wait for the scam in Italy and the internet is an evil machine made to such your money and your social life. In fact it takes your social life, but if you are wise you can keep the money.
Here the things are different, and I will suggest you some internet sites you should visit that may seem basic for an American, but may result in something interesting for a future intern in New York, if you are reading this to obtain some information (or maybe they’ll make a book out of this, or a movie. In that case I would like Timothy Olyphant to play my role, he’s funny and looks alike me in some situations).
First of all the masterpiece, King Amazon: you can find everything, and I really mean everything, from food to clothing to gardening to sex toys. Everything. It is a search engine on recommended website that affiliates to Amazon in order to let it take the orders for them and manage them taking a commission on the order money. I recommend it for clothing, gadgets and technology stuff, be sure that all the items you buy are included in the Super Saving shipment because otherwise it would be something like five dollars for seller (you buy three objects from three shops you will have to pay three shipping fees). And this is the worst part, they send you tons of shipments even if you want them to reduce them to as few as possible.
Another internet site that will ease you things is FreshDirect. There are advertisements everywhere in Manhattan trains, I tried it and it works, they are fast, friendly and they deliver exactly in a two hours spot you choose. The delivery boy was so kind not to complain for the four floors of stairs to my apartment and was so kind I gave him 5 bucks. They told me to try Peapot too for food, but I think that this is the best site I used and I will continue like this.
Then I suggest you to subscribe to Netflix if you have a good internet connection and a strong Wifi. The site will permit you to stream contents from the internet right on your pc, Playstation, Xbox and similar, the quality is very good and the programs are decent. A service like this for example for me is necessary after the fall of the God Megavideo, which by the way I paid 30 Euros to in order to subscribe to the site on January.
If you need business cards (they are basically useful to spread them around to girls) you can buy the at Vistaprint, they are fast, cheap and they have a wonderful customer support: the post offices couldn’t find my shipment after two days and the customer support offered me for free a new shipment and if the post offices could find my business cards I could have kept them.
Now I can’t remember any other internet site, if I will in a future I will rickroll you again and suggest something else to visit. And by the way I always end up into Youtube videos that rickrolls you and hope that you rage. Too bad I love that song.
(Check out Brian Griffin on Family Guy version of the song, it’s awesome)
(Aka Everyone else’s dreams)
In this town I met lots of people since I landed for the first time in my new shining home, and I liked most of them. I consider myself very lucky from this point of view and I think that not many people in the world had the chance to do something they like in a place they like. Beside me today I want to focus on everyone else’s dreams, as I am not the first and for sure I will not be the last that is using this opportunity to change my life.
Like me most of my friends came here with tons of reason, and I don’t know even all of them, but I can tell you that really the scope of the goals is wide and different. The more I live abroad and meet new people the more I think that I am not the only one in the world; have you ever read on the internet some posts, pictures, Facebook status or image that says: “Am I the only one who thinks…” or “it’s only me who…”? No. I can ensure you that no, you are not the only one that though about something for the first time or realized some kind of hidden link. Get over it.
The fact is that when I think that I live my life without paying too much attention on what I do, or at least I give this impression to my friends, the truth is that I am scared about my future. I am not one of those that live the vida loca, and live every day as it would be the last one. I plan, I think and I calculate, I am even one of the last one in the world that writes the groceries list on a post it and attach it to the phone (not attach it to a mail, physically attach it to the back cover).
And when I think that it could be only me that am scared about the future, scared of what I will do after this internship and after the following internship, or work, or stage, or join the circus, then I find out that most of my friends have my same concerns, my same anxieties, my same fears. It’s not easy to be always the best and prepared person on the world, that can face all the challenges as they are nothing. And I’ve heard them say they will be unemployed, they did all this for nothing, this experience was nice but useless, they are not skilled enough or that their degree was worthless. I don’t think so.
I think that we are the best in the class, everywhere. I think we are not the 1%, we are the 99%. I think we are the few, the brave, the lucky guys that are all aiming for the same goal, being happy and safe (that in my case would be on a beach in Panama). Everyone is following is path to the fame and we are all afraid of taking the long way to reach the top, but as we are all in the same boat, we row together.
I even met some guys yesterday that strongly disagreed with me. Some Italians, imagine this, blaming me for looking for luck abroad. They told me that I was like betraying my country (and I am not an evil scientist or the guy that found a cure for HIV, I am an unpaid intern). They told me that it was my fault if we can’t get through the crisis; it was my fault if people don’t study and work in Italy. That I was crazy to go away while Italy was struggling. He also said that he hates this town and he is waiting with all himself to come back to Italy and never leave it anymore.
What do you think about it? What would have replied him? I said I understand his point and I told him that I will come back in Italy. Not now, but I will come back. See I do love my country; I am proud of what it is and am proud of what it does. I love my streets, my family, God helps me I love even Berlusconi. But how can you say you really understand what you have if you have never been abroad, if you have never opened your mind to other people, if you have never ate a cheeseburger in Times Square or a bowl of rice in Timor East? I love to travel, to see the world, to absorb the culture and the soul of all the people of the world like a sponge. And then I would like to pour all that culture back to my place, in Italy. It’s not just me, I am not alone. Each and every one inside my office, my organization, my city, my country and my world is a sponge. Even my co-workers that are doing the same things and thinking the same stuff as I do. Because I told you, we are seven billion people on the world, do you really think you are alone anymore?
(Wonderful sentence, this will be my motto from now on)